Michael Hayward was dismissed by butcher's firm Noel Chadwick, where he had worked for seven and a half years. In a Facebook post, he allegedly advertised and recommended one of his employer's competitors.
Mr. Hayward lost his job because of alledged gross misconduct and a breach of contract. The Chadwick butchers did not give Mr. Hayward an explanation about his actions, nor the right to have someone with him at the meeting and they didn't offer him the right to appeal.
Although Mr Hayward had been ‘pulled up’ over his use of social media before the incident, he was not warned that such behaviour could lead to his dismissal.
Needless to say the butchers lost their case at Tribunal.
The judge said that it is "fanciful" of the Chadwick butchers to suggest that they were in competition with the other butchers, as the two businesses had different commercial structures. Plus, Mr. Hayward’s misdemeanour was minor, not major misconduct.
Insight for Employers
So - Employers, I'm sure you have a social media usage policy. Just be sure that those who have the authority to give someone the chop, have the perspicacity to demonstrate, that they haven't set out to deliberately leave your employee hung-out to dry.